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weight gain and lexapro

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  • weight gain and lexapro

    I was researching on the internet and by sheer luck I stumbled onto this website. I read some threads on lexapro and weight gain and FINALLY I feel validated.

    I've been on lex about a year. At first I started out 5mg every other day and worked myself up to 10mg every other day. I went thru a sort of depression a few months ago (due to weight gain and unable to lose lose the weight) and increased my dose to 10mg per day for about the last month.

    Since I've been on the lex I've gained about ten pounds. I'm very weight concious and have been a daily exerciser for years. Weight training and cardio.

    Like so meny other people that I read about, as hard as they try, no weight comes off. I eat healthy. Vegies, oatmeal, protein. No fast food and junk most of the time. Took my calories down to 800 hundred a day, exercised every day, did so well but the scale never moved. So so so discouraging. I have anxiety and panic attacks cuz I can't take off the weight no matter how hard I try. It's almost funny, it seems to be the one of the biggest reasons I need the lexapro.

    I haven't taken the lexapro for two days now. As a last guess that the lex was causing the problem. A fter reading all the threads today, I dumped the rest in the trash. Decided to not speak with the doctor. I told him in the very beginning that I wouldn't stay on the stuff if it made me gain weight. Like one other lady who wrote in, he said to me that maybe if I put on a few pounds, that would be good for me. The lexapro might make me feel like I could let myself do that. I was at the time, slightly underweight.

    The cravings and increased apetite drive me crazy. Make me feel like I've lost all control. Like I said, that creates more anxiety then ever.

    But, all this new validation has given me hope and tomarrow is a new day. Side affects so far. Maybe a little less patience. Crabby sometimes. Mostly with myself and lack of self control over the food. I've always had night sweats. Never realized it was a side affect. No headaches yet, but tomarrow back to work, so we'll see...........

    Can anyone tell me how long it takes to get your metabolism back into wack??? I'd sure appreciate anyone out there giving me some advice, maybe even a buddy to keep in touch with as I try to work all this out and get back to my regular size. Thanks!

  • #2
    unfortunately, that is one of the long term side effects that i have found with lex as well. the new ssris, one being lexapro, touted that they did not make you gain as much weight however even a little bit of weight on a weight conscious female such as myself can suck.
    i started on 5 then 10 then all of the way up to 30 mg of lex in the course of one year. i noticed the weight come on very slowly however as i initially lost weight due to being so sick from the side effects.
    its funny because since it came on so gradually, i only notice when i look at my weights in the long term and look at old >>. new pics.
    there are other factors in weight gain including age, diet, etc. but i am also a healthy eater, vegetarian, and get plenty of exercise. the main thing is that lexapro seems to cause the carb cravings that get you into trouble (meaning i could eat entire pizzas, huge burritos, and put away ALOT more food than i used to). also, exercise didnt seem to make anything budge but only kept my weight somewhat at bay.
    the bottom line is weighing (no pun intended) the pros >>. the cons. the weight gain i got from lexapro was minimal compared to what it did for my GAD and depression. if you are careful about what you eat, continue to exercise, you can minimize how much weight you gain but unfortunately for me at least, the weight gain never stopped and i never went back to my previous size. it was more of a gradual gain that leveled off at about 2 years (a total weight gain of about 20 lbs over 3 years or from a size 9/10 to a 12/14).
    if this sounds like too much for you, you may want to consider another type of antidepressant (not paxil since that is well known to cause weight gain). i am now switching to zoloft (my doc and i decided to try a new approach to my depression) which supposedly helps you lose weight. i have also tried wellbutrin in the past which actually reduced my appetite like crazy ( i think they've even used it for weight loss in the past) but the dizziness was too much. there are also tricyclic antidepressants, MAOI's, atypicals like Trazodone and Remeron however the weight gain from these as opposed to SSRI's is supposed to be crazy (a friend of mine gained 65 lbs on Remeron).
    its definitely something to think about however i would much rather be a lil chunkier than depressed and anxious how i was. take care.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 04-09-2007, 03:48 PM.


    • #3
      weight gain and lexapro

      Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess if I wasn't so overweight years ago, I might handle it different. After the birth of my second child, I was able to go from 230 pounds to 100 pounds. I vowed never to put it back on again. I've had it off now for almost 16 years. two years ago I had a tummy tuck done to get rid of all the excess skin around my middle. Execise did nothing to help. Now, the anxiety of putting the weight back on is overwhelming, doesn't matter that I was on the lexapro, it stresses me out. Yup, total carb cravings. I'm just not use to being so out of control. And just like I read in other threads, it never seemed to matter what I ate or how meny times I hit the gym. I felt so let-down with myself. Anyway, i spoke with the girls at work and they suggested I try something else for the anxiety and I might, after I get all the lex out of my system and my metabolism back into wack.

      Anyone out there who can give me advice on how long it will take to get my metabolism back or anything I can take to pick it up a bit???


      • #4
        Losing the weight gain

        Generally it seems to take about 6 weeks after you stop taking the drug to start losing weight.

        One of my friends switched her Paxil to Cymbalta and then quit that after I showed her a few things about these drugs. She then tried Empowerplus from and claims she has far more energy while taking it than she did while on the drugs.

        [email protected]


        • #5
          I just started taking Lexapro, It already seems to help me with my moods, I was such a hateful person before, every little thing irritated me. and then I started getting panic attacks from out of no where, so now I'm on lexapro 20 and zanax 3x a day .05 i feel gret, but cant seem to sit still is this normal? also I do not wanna gain any weight, I just quit smoking in Jan and gained 10 lbs. so far.


          • #6
            any one out there?


            • #7
              I have been on a few different kind of antidepressants in the last 6 years and have definitely gained about 30 lbs since then. The upsetting part is this. I gained 15 of it in the last few months since being on Lexapro.
              No doubt these meds saved me from depression and anxiety, but I am really over the side effects and really want to come off it. I don't think that I will lose the weight otherwise. But I am also so afraid of going back to that dark place I once was - when I couldn't go out for dinner or take the subway.


              • #8
                i loved did great with the depression and anxiety.But i did gain almost 30 pounds and also if i didnt take it the same time everyday i could definitly telll,id start feeling all numb and tingly.I hated that.So iwent back to zoloft.Seems like lexapro does help more with the anxiety.So i take xanax for that.
                Draginon ~Starting over...It's all just drag-in-on tho!~ `


                • #9
                  I totally sympathize-and want the same answer

                  I too was about 100 pounds (I know it was a little bit underweight), but after6 weeks on lexapro I put on almost 20 pounds. I could NOT stand it or handle it. I was hungry all the time and like someone said, could eat entire pizzas, bags of chips, everything. Now I've lost a little of the weight, but my stomach gets bloated the minute I eat anything and I'm battling to lose the weight that used to stay off very easily for me. I'd love the 6 week time frame to be right to when my body goes back to normal. I'd much rather have to eat more to keep weight on than to have to watch everything I put in my mouth. It is frustrating and I'm angry that I am even in this position to begin with. SO not worth it!!!
                  I'll keep you posted and you let me know how it's going for you also. I'll be your buddy! I'm doing weight watchers in the meantime to keep trying to get the weight off. I'm at 116 now which isn't too bad, but before the lexapro it was much much easier for me to eat and keep weight off. Now I feel my metabolism has been forever changed. I hope not!


                  • #10
                    Same problems

                    I too have been on Lexapro for anxiety and gained weight. I have only been on 5 mg/day for 6 months, but after reading these posts have decided to quit taking it. I have read all the withdrawal symptoms and am prepared for them as long as I lose the weight.

                    All the weight I have gained is in my stomach and "love handle" areas. I actually thought I was pregnant my stomach is so bloated looking. My arms and legs are still as skinny as before.

                    Has anyone else gained weight in these areas? If so, what did you do to take it off and how long did it take?

                    I wish I would have read this before bathing suit season!


                    • #11
                      Weight Gain Depressing!

                      I just got to this site by searching for a possible new antidpressant (I suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression), that would NOT cause weight gain. I've tried other meds. On Paxil I gained 20 lbs very quickly. I tried Effexor and felt instantly horrible. Zoloft gave me instant anxiety. On Lexapro, the weight gain is much slower - but after a couple of years on this med - I'm back to 20 lbs overweight. I, too, am basically a lifelong athlete. I've always been able to control my weight with the workouts. I'm not the best dieter, though - so I can't totally blame the drug. But I've had the side effects. When I first got onto the drug - I felt nausea, cramps and diarrhea. Then after the first week, the bloating and constipation set in, plus about a 5 lb weight gain, which stabilized and held steady for awhile. But after a couple years, the weight has just crept on. I feel sleepy on it and of course hungry. I'm relieved about not having panic attacks or anxiety - but I am used to having a nice figure! Every time I've tried to get off meds (I also take Wellbutrin to counteract the sexual side effects of the Lex, and xanax once a night to fall asleep and stay asleep), I've been unsuccessful. Usually, it begins with constant crying, and then a slow return of anxiousness. And then, more than one doc has told me that I need to stay on meds for life, due to my history of more than one major depressive episode, and my family genetics. Soooooooo - I wish these companies would create an antianxiety/antidepressant that does not mess up your metabolism!! But I'm very depressed about being fat and unable to get control of my weight! So, tonight, I'm going to start cutting my meds in half, from 20mg of Lex, to 10mg, than off. Maybe I'll stay with the Wellbutrin for awhile to see if it will work on its own. One caveat, however, DO NOT EVER stop cold turkey! It's dangerous and the side effects are horrible! Brain bounce, dizziness, numbness and wobbly legs. Anyone out there know what I'm saying?? Thanks for the listen.


                      • #12
                        Jenna -

                        Due to the weight gain I have started tapering off Wellbutrin and Lexapro too. I was on 5mg of Lexapro daily, then down to every other day for 3 weeks. This week I just stepped down to 2.5mg daily and it's been a little harder. The dizziness is a lot more frequent at this dose, but I'm determined to get off it.

                        I was at 100mg of Wellbutrin daily and am down to 25mg every other day too.

                        Good luck!


                        • #13
                          Fat tummy

                          I have been on lexapro for about 1 and 1/2 years for OCD. I have tapered slowly from 40 mg to 2.5 mg every other day. Will be off of it in less than a month. I have gained 38 pounds. I usually gain weight quickly and tend to be fat but used to maintain it at a normal weight with diet and exercise.I could shed the weight easily before. I have never been this obese my entire life. I have developed a round big tummy and look like 8 months pregnant. I feel too heavy and the weight is mainly in the love handle area and tummy. I feel very awkward and too angry. I can't even lose a pound in the past one year. I lose my motivation and never exercise regularly like before thinking it is not helping me and can't diet these days. I had a huge appetite like never before since taking lexapro but my appetite has significantly reduced at this stage.
                          I am very depressed about my huge midsection. I too want to know when will the weight start coming off after withdrawal. Has anybody lost their tummy weight. Extremely depressing when people ask me if I am pregnant. My husband is hoping me to lose the weight once I wean off the drug.
                          Last edited by Anonymous; 07-23-2009, 02:07 AM.


                          • #14
                            I have been completely off Lexapro now for 2 weeks. I still have some dizziness now and again. My weight has started to come off though. I find I'm not hungry all the time and thinking about food, like I was when I was on Lexapro. I have started walking and doing abs to help me take the belly and love handles off. My belly started shrinking almost right away, the love handles are a different story.

                            Unfortunately for me my story has another twist. My husband decided after being together for 11 years, and only married for 4, to announce that he doesn't love me anymore and wants a divorce, so my nerves have probably had something to do with me not being so hungry. I'm determined to get through this without the help of any drugs and am trying to be strong. Some days are better than others, and the tears definitely fall easier, but I'm going to stay strong.

                            Good luck.


                            • #15
                              I am so sorry to hear that. Good that you are being strong. Don't give up. Things would get better and don't give in to lexapro again. Nice to hear that your weight has started to come off. It motivates me. In just 3 weeks I'll be off Lexapro and waiting to see the results.Already started exercising but still no weight loss.

                              Good luck.
                              Last edited by Anonymous; 07-27-2009, 12:56 AM.